Conveying Understanding through Paraphrasing


One of the most powerful communication skills you can learn is the art of paraphrasing.  When someone tells you something, make sure that you understand him or her correctly by using paraphrasing.  You let the speaker know that you heard what they said, using your own words and such phrases as:

  • You’re saying that…
  • Here’s what I am hearing…
  • What I hear you saying is…
  • I understand you to be saying…
  • You’re telling me…
  • If I understand you correctly…

Then the speaker can confirm that you heard them correctly, or they can expand or clarify something that was misunderstood.  Using this skill is a tremendous step toward preventing misunderstandings and having communication that truly works.


Assertive, Aggressive, or Passive Communication?


At times, all of us use assertive, aggressive or passive communication.  Most of the time, assertive communication is best.  Assertive communication is characterized by using “I statements” instead of “You statements.”  Assertiveness means taking responsibility for your own feelings, and not blaming others.

Imagine a scenario where you’d like to request that the other person arrive on time for your meeting, and they have a history of being late.

An aggressive communicator would say, “You’d better be on time, or I’ll just leave.  I’m sick of waiting around for you.”

A passive communicator would probably not say anything but would get angry when the other person arrived late again.

An assertive communicator would say, “I’ve noticed that you’ve been late quite a few times in the past.  I would like to you arrive promptly at 9:00, as I have only an hour to spend on our meeting.”

When you practice assertiveness, you will experience more effective and enjoyable communications.  It’s not necessary to do it perfectly all the time; just take each conversation one at a time and assertiveness will begin to come naturally to you.

Coming soon:

Vision – Goals – Action: A Practical Guide to Achieving Your Goals…


…a step-by-step guide to a more fulfilling life – a life by design rather than a life by default. Learn more HERE.

If you’d like support or would like to know more please contact me here.

Create great goals download

Download my FREE Great Goal Setting Tips


I'd love to share with you these 21 questions to help you establish and achieve great goals.


Download your free copy now & subscribe to our newsletter.


Available in both English and Greek versions.

You have Successfully Subscribed!